The biddies try to keep it together for their ONE HUNDREDTH episode, in which they discuss the US Harvest report in California, Washington & Oregon. Tune in to learn what you can expect from the 2022 vintage.


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First grapes picked in Napa Valley 2022 harvest – Decanter

California’s Wine Industry Faces Climate Tipping Point – Bloomberg

Washington Wine Grape Harvest Could Be “Biggest Yet” – Northwest Public Broadcasting (

Study Notes for US Harvest Report 2022:

*Please note some of these lines might be directly taken from sources noted above.


  • Much of western US seems consistent with much of France – slightly lower yields but good quality
  • Some of the same issues – drought. Also a heat spike in September
  • California’s wine country has been hit with one extreme after another
    • Started with a deep frost that iced over green buds
    • Crops that survived were then hit with drought and heat
    • In early September there were record breaking temperatures that baked the vineyards
    • Ever present threat of wildfires and smoke damage
  • State’s wine grape production is expected to drop almost 4% this year to 3.5 million tons
    • Second smallest crop of the decade trailing on the wild fire harvest from 2020
  • High heat benefitted more northern regions like Oregon


  • Early harvest due to the hot summer. Most vineyards are wrapping up this week
  • Heat during harvest led to a rapid increase in the pace of bringing much of the grapes in
  • Grapes like Aglianico that love the heat did really well – stayed on the vine longer
  • Harvest got underway in early August for some sparkling and white wine styles
    • Honing Vineyard said it was the earliest harvest ever when they started picking Sauvignon Blanc on August 1
  • Chandon picked August 3 and winemaking Pauline Lhote said that despite frost, hail and drought, the quality was going to be exciting  with beautiful bright acidity perfect for sparkling wines


  • Harvest started on July 28 – earlier than nearly ever before
  • Smaller crush but high quality

Champagne grapes/Chandon

  • Started harvesting on August 4 – a bit later than usual
  • Had frost and hail at the start of the growing season, and then drought
  • Had cooler than average temperatures after veraison, led to slow ripening, but high acid quality fruit

Paso Robles

  • The good news is the warm and dry conditions this year are creating smaller, more concentrated grapes, which is ideal for winemaking. While it affects yields, it produces intense and complex flavors, bolder colors, vibrant acidity and manageable tannins. These conditions have winemakers feeling quite bullish for Vintage 2022, with many predicting a banner year. 


  • This year’s grape harvest is about two or three weeks later than usual (Vicky Sharlau – executive director of the Washington Wine Growers Association)
  • Wet spring allowed for large clusters to form for both red and white wine grapes
  • Looking at a really high quality vintage and it could be the largest ever seen
  • 28% increase and be ranked as no. 2 in state history 
  • However, Washington state vintners have reported four consecutive quarters of reduced wine shipments
  • First harvest was August 31


  • Two weeks later as well – high quality expected

Domaine Willamette, Willamette Valley AVA + Oregon

  • First in the Willamette Valley AVA to start picking on September 16
  • Had a long wet spring followed by a very hot summer – was really good for this area
  • La Nina during conditions during harvest season could have an impact – La Nina brings a lot of rain: Enough consecutive days of rain can swell and dilute the juice inside the berry and can crack the skin leaving it open to disease.


  • California – experts are starting to say the vineyards are already near the tipping point. It’s not about what will happen in the future – the vicious cycle of more intense, more frequent, crop killing disasters has already begun”
  • Heat is benefiting the PNW – growing grapes even in Washington’s Puget Sound which used to be considered too cold to grow

SQUARE QUOTE: “There was absolutely nothing that could be done about it: Mother Nature just says “Youre done” – Craig Ledbetter of Lodi California Vino Farms